Ottawa, ON — Statistics Canada reports in its latest Labour Force Survey that employment across Canada was little changed in July 2004 (+9,000), following three consecutive monthly gains. The unemployment rate edged down 0.1 percentage points in July to 7.2% as fewer people entered the labour market in search of work.
Despite a pause during the first quarter of the year, employment has shown strength over the past 11 months with growth of 2.1% (+325,000) since August 2003 when the recent upward trend began.
Employment in the manufacturing sector rose by 21,000 in July, the first significant increase in more than a year. The increase in July was mostly in Ontario with gains in the province spread across a number of industries.
The increase in factory jobs at the national level for July follows a period of little change that began during the fall of 2003.
Added manufacturing employment in July coincides with recent strength in shipments and continued accumulation of inventories. Furthermore, the most recent Business Conditions Survey for July indicates an improvement in manufacturer’s employment prospects.
Despite more factory jobs in July, employment in manufacturing has not fully recovered from the losses incurred between November 2002 and September 2003.